Team Manager (Farmworker Team)
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA), a non-profit law firm, seeks an employment-law attorney with expertise in farmworker advocacy to manage the Farmworker Team practice area. The preferred office placement for the Farmworker Team Manager is in one of TRLA’s offices along the border in south Texas, but the practice will involve a multi-state docket, including throughout the Southwest and Midwest.
Founded in 1970 to represent Texas farmworkers, TRLA has grown into the nation’s second-largest legal aid provider and the largest in Texas. TRLA provides free civil legal services to residents in 68 Southwest Texas counties and represents migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout the state and in six other southern states. Thus, since its inception and for over 50 years, TRLA has operated one of the premier migrant legal services programs in the country, with a distinguished history of strategic, principled litigation on behalf of marginalized migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. TRLA has an experienced and dedicated staff.
The Farmworker Team Manager will oversee TRLA’s Farmworker Practice Area, which represents agricultural workers throughout the state of Texas. Most of TRLA’s farmworker practice is employment litigation in federal court. To effectively supervise staff and direct the team’s legal docket, the Farmworker Team Manager should have sufficient familiarity with laws and legal processes impacting farmworkers, such as claims under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal H-2A program, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state contract, wage-and-hour, tort, and worker’s compensation disputes. In addition to federal litigation, the Farmworker Team Manager will advocate and collaborate with other administrative agencies enforcing farmworker rights, such as the U.S. Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Team Manager should work with staff to implement strategic and creative legal strategies that positively impact farmworkers and address their most pressing needs.
The Farmworker Team Manager also supervises the planning and execution of outreach to migrant farmworkers in Texas. As such, the Farmworker Team Manager must be able to establish a strong rapport with low-wage migrant farmworkers, many of whom are monolingual Spanish speakers, and help build strong ties with community partners. The Manager will oversee an experienced team of outreach paralegals in establishing outreach priorities and devising innovative outreach techniques.
The Farmworker Team Manager carries the overall responsibility for the smooth functioning of the team, which includes directing administrative processes to guarantee the quality of services and efficient operations. These administrative processes include reviewing and enforcing compliance with funding regulations, including LSC; conducting regular case reviews; recruiting, evaluating, and disciplining staff; approving various administrative requests; implementing TRLA policies and procedures; and providing and gathering data implicating farmworker practice. The Farmworker Team Manager also advocates for farmworker clients and staff as part of TRLA’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.
Applicants should have proven litigation skills, management experience, a commitment to workers’ rights, and the ability to establish trusting relationships with staff and low-income clients. The Farmworker Team Manager must be culturally competent, including understanding the unique needs of low-wage workers. The ideal applicant would further meet the qualifications listed below.
Membership in good standing in any state bar; willingness to become licensed in Texas
Proficiency in spoken and written Spanish is strongly preferred
At least 5 years of federal litigation experience in employment law preferred
Excellent and independently-driven case development, legal research, and writing skills
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to engage and build trust with staff and lead advocacy with governmental and other non-profit or social service agencies
Strong preference for candidates with experience in project management or other supervisory roles
Demonstrated ability to effectively mentor and coordinate a team of lawyers, paralegals, and other support staff across geographically distant offices in their litigation and community-building efforts
Strong office management organizational skills, including implementing systems to ensure the team complies with various requirements and meets case deadlines
Ability to think creatively, systemically, and with a willingness to implement unconventional strategies; preferred experience with large-scale impact advocacy
Experience working with diverse populations, including non-English-speaking and migrant communities
Demonstrated commitment to social justice; preferred knowledge of the TRLA service delivery area.
The consideration of candidates is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled.
Salary and benefits
Salary is dependent on experience and commensurate with salaries paid by other LSC-funded legal services programs. TRLA is an equal-opportunity employer that seeks a diverse workforce. We encourage applicants who will contribute to our diversity to apply.
TRLA offers a benefits package that includes medical, dental, and disability coverage; life insurance; a retirement plan; and a law school loan forgiveness plan. TRLA has a unionized workforce.
This position requires, consistent with TRLA’s policy and subject to applicable law, a candidate to provide proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination prior to commencing employment.